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joice, with Abraham, in seeing by faith the glorious day of our Lord; and to hasten, by our fervent prayers, that glorious kingdom, those happy days, when the narrow shall be the way to destruction, when saints raised from the dead shall converse with living saints, and the world of spirits be manifested in a great measure to the material world: in a word, when Jesus will be All in All.
“ What a glorious prospect is this ! Let us then often think of these words of our Lord, Behold, I come quickly : blessed is he that mindeth the sayings of this prophecy.' Let us join to • the Spirit and the bride, who say come.' 0, let him that heareth say, Come; and let him that is athirst come : for He that testifieth these things says, Surely I come quickly. Amen: Even so, come, Lord Jesus.'
“ J. F." “ London, Nov. 29, 1755."
ON CALUMNIOUS MISQUOTATIONS.
To the Editor of the Morning Watch. Sir,-It is deeply to be lamented, as one of the greatest evils attendant upon controversy, that the passions of fallen man are liable to become so inflamed that triumphing over his antagonist becomes the primary object, and eliciting truth becomes only secondary. And it sometimes happens that the evil does not stop even here; for instances are not unfrequent in which truth itself is violated to serve the temporary purpose of controversial hostility. This has been done in the controversy respecting the human nature of our Lord; and one of the grossest instances has not, that I am aware of, been yet pointed out: it occurs in Mr. J. A. Haldane's answer to Mr. Henry Drummond (p. 186); where Mr. H. says, “ If Mr. D. differs from Mr. Irving, he should have stated where the difference lies. Does he hold that Christ died by the common property of flesh to die....that he” (Christ) " possessed a diabolical feeling of self-sufficiency and independency upon God?" purporting that these most abominable words had been applied by Mr. Irving to our Lord, and giving a reference to “ Last Days, p. 44." I turned to the Last Days, and found the passage to stand thus : “ This our original primitive condition it is the purpose of God to restore, with all advantages of the revealed Son and the indwelling Spirit; and previous thereto it is necessary to divest Us of that diabolical feeling of self-sufficiency and independency upon God, and other creatures, which, as it is the greatest of falsehoods, so it is the most fruitful source of misery.” It is impossible that such a perversion could be accidental, and I hold it up to the scorn and detestation of every honest reader.
ON ANTICHRIST, ITS NATURE AND TIME.
and from the slightest consideration it is manifest that the evil must first be understood before we can estimate the amount of the good; that the disease must be experienced, in order to appreciate the remedy. The perfections of God, considered absolutely and in the abstract, are incomprehensible ; for that which is unchangeable is unintelligible ; intelligence consisting in marking and comparing the different relations of changeable things, that we may from thence admire and reverence the alone unchangeable One. In this intellectual process the whole creation gives us help, and the sum total of creation is exhibited in its perfection and concentration in the person of Jesus Christ : the creation headed up in Man; mankind headed up in Christ; and He, the Son (whom God hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds), being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of his power. The comparative holiness of the creature becomes intelligible to us by the contrast between saints and sinners; the absolute holiness of a creature by the comparison between the Man Christ Jesus and every other man: and thus we ascend in our contemplations to the infinitely holy God. So also of love: the Apostle exhorts us, “Beloved, let us love one another ; for love is of God.” “ In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Our sins, therefore, gave occasion for this greatest act of love in God: “ Herein is the love:" “ God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.". Not that God has ordained the evil for the sake of the contrast, or is in any way chargeable with the sin of man; but, change being
VOL. II.-NO. III.
inseparable from every created being, some of his creatures are permitted by God to follow their own will, guided by their finite understanding alone, in order that, by thus proving their own insufficiency and helplessness in themselves, they may with all their hearts turn unto the Lord, that he may have mercy upon them; and that, having thus learned by their own experience the true wisdom of simple dependence upon God, the Only Wise, they may exemplify and teach the same to the universe. And thus his judgments toward some become lessons of mercy to the many, and his love is displayed even by its very rejection; bringing us to a conclusion like that of the Apostle from the contemplation of another mystery : “ God hath shut them all up together in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! 'how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out !... For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom. xi. 36).
Creation exhibited God as bounteous and loving ; but before the Fall this might be thought to proceed not altogether from the uncaused fountain of love in his own bosom, but from the reflection of that loveliness and beauty which he had embodied in his own handywork, when God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. But the fall of man, giving place for redemption and all its accompaniments and consequences, demonstrated that God is love; Love in the abstract; Love self-originated, irrespective of the worthiness of the beloved object; and giving the highest possible demonstration that it resulted from love in himself alone, by sending his Son to die for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. v.8).
From the Fall, which brought sin and death into the world, good and evil, light and darkness, have been exhibited in contrast; the brightest rays of light shining forth from the thickest gloom; and the greatest good arising at periods which seemed to threaten every thing of hopeless evil.
At the first advent of our Lord, when life and immortality were brought to light by the Gospel, though letters and the arts were highly cultivated in Greece and Rome, morals were most corrupt; and polytheism among the heathen, and vain traditions amongst the Jews, had well nigh extinguished all traces of natural and revealed religion. “ Vain in their imaginations, their foolish heart was darkened." “ Thou art called a Jew..a light of them which are in darkness. . Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you.” At this time “ The people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region of the shadow of death, light sprang up” (Matt. iv. 14).
Again, in the dark ages, before the Reformation, all Europe was shrouded in the condensed gloom of centuries of ignorance; when Wickliffe, and Huss, and Luther, and Calvin burst forth, and Gospel light again dawned upon the world.
And prophecy assures us, that, though moral blindness as great as the ignorance of the dark
ages, shall come over Christendom again-though “ they shall wait for light, but, behold, obscurity; for brightness, but walk in darkness”-at a time when “ truth faileth” and he that departeth from evil is accounted mad—that then“ the Lord shall see it, and be displeased that there is no judgment; and he shall put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and be clad with zeal as a cloke. So shall they fear the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun” (Isaiah lix. 9, 19). “ And the Redeemer shall come to Zion,” and cry, “ Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising..... The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself : for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation : I the Lord will hasten it in his time' (Isaiah lx. 1, 22).
These antagonist powers of light and darkness are put in the strongest opposition during the whole Gospel dispensation, taking now a personal and embodied form; Christ bringing life and immortality to light by the Gospel, Satan continually endeavouring to darken and extinguish it by some form of Antichrist, some denial or some counterfeit of Christ. And as we have endeavoured, in preceding Numbers, to trace out the glories of Christ's kingdom, and the successive steps by which he shall take to himselt his great power and reign; so we would now search the Scriptures to ascertain the different forms of Antichrist therein revealed, that we may recognise their features when they arise in the world, guard against their delusions by taking the whole armour of God, and in the strength of the Holy Spirit manfully resist their power. Thus fortified, we may become more than conquerors, through Him that loved us; and “neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, head;
nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. viii. 39).
Antichrist, being opposition to Christ, becomes most violent at that time when the progress of Christ's kingdom becomes most apparent. It is also very important to remark, that the antichristian principle varies its form of opposition in different ages, according to the form of Christ which is in each different age made known to or manifested by the church; the perfection of the church consisting in a conformity with Christ, its
and Antichrist being either the hiding and removing of this exemplar and pattern, that man may fall into the delusions of Satan, always abroad; or the setting up of a false exemplar, in distorted mimicry of the true, that men may range themselves under the banner of Antichrist, instead of being found under the banner of Christ.
As the kingdom of heaven has three principal aspects, so the forms of Antichrist are chiefly three. First, we have the kingdom of God, or of heaven, as announced by John the Baptist, who came preaching " the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Of this our Lord declares, " The kingdom of God is within you ;" and against this spiritual kingdom the spirit of Antichrist strove in the Apostles' days: “ The mystery of iniquity doth already work” (2 Thess. ii
. 7): “ This is that spirit of Antichrist whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John iv. 3).-Secondly, we have the kingdom of heaven exhibited in the church, the whole body of Christ, the pillar and ground of the truth : and against this, the system of Antichrist was raised by Satan, in the Apostasy, the Papacy, predicted of in 1 Tim. iv : “ Now the Spirit speakerh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron : forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats,” &c.—Thirdly, we have the kingdom of Christ properly so called, when the Son of Man shall come in his kingdom ; when the proclamation shall go forth, “ The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ” (Rev. xi. 15); and when “ The Lord shall set his King upon his holy hill of Zion ” (Psalm ii. 6): and against this the utmost rage of Satan will be exerted, and THE ANTICHRIST be revealed, that “man of sin, the son of perdition.. that wicked ” (2 Thess. ii. 3, 8; Dan. xi. 36, 45).
In the early times of the Christian church, Antichrist (we repeat it) took the form of spiritual opposition, the manifestation of Christ being then spiritual ; and the various heresies which infested the primitive church are the many Antichrists of which the Apostles speak; the mystery of iniquity, or spirit of Anti